It might be a little difficult to recall life without web search giant Google, Inc., but the Mountain View, Calif.-based corporation popped up on the tech scene just 14 years ago—and hasn’t looked back. Since founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin met at Stanford University in 1995 to filing for incorporation as Google, Inc. (initially called BackRub) to claim its first investment of $100,000 in 1998, the robust brand has expanded to include more than 70 offices in over 40 countries around the globe. While September 4, 1998 marks the day Google filed the incorporation papers, in recent years, Sept. 27 is the day Google has chosen to celebrate its inception. In honor of the popular search engine’s 14th birthday, BlackEnterprise.com has compiled a list of Google’s most historic moments. –Janel Martinez
With $25 million of venture capital in tow, Google headquarters move from the current Senior Vice President of Ads Susan Wojcicki’s garage in Santa Margarita, Calif. to an office in Mountain View. In between the two locations, the company moved its eight employees to Palo Alto.
The first year of the 21st century was a big year for Google—a variation of the mathematical term googol, meaning 1 followed by 100 zeros. The company becomes the world’s largest search engine with the first billion-URL index. The first 15 language versions of Google.com are released, including Chinese, French, Italian and Spanish. Last, but certainly not least, advertising product Google AdWords and Internet browser toolbar Google Toolbar launch.
Google performs its first public acquisition: Deja Usenet. Adding search and browse features to the archive, the company launched it as Google Groups. Also, Image Search debuts, giving users access to 250 million images. In October of that year, Google entered into a partnership with Universo Online (UOL), making it the premier search service for millions of Latin Americans.
Major partnership with AOL gives Google Search to 34 million customers using CompuServe, Netscape and AOL.com. In addition, Google News begins with 4000 news sources.
Google obtains Pyra Labs, the creators of Blogger. In December, Google Book Search (originally called Google Print) is released.
Fun fact: The American Dialect Society voted “google” the “most useful” word of the year in 2002 at the top of this year.
The company tops 100 domains, and its index of web pages reaches over 8 billion.
Google goes public with an opening price of $85 per share.
Although Google is known for its April Fools Day pranks, this April 1 proved promising with the launch of Gmail.
Google Maps and Google Earth launched, followed by Google Talk.
The global company debuts Traffic feature in Google Maps to 30 U.S. cities, and Street View debuts in 5 additional cities in the states.
In September, Google introduces Chrome. Chrome leaked a day ahead of schedule when the comic book that was meant to help debut the open source browser got out. Later that month, T-Mobile announces the G1, Google’s first Android-powered mobile device.
The company turns 10.
At the top of the year, Google launches Mac-based photo application Picasa. Google Wave debuted at the second annual Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco in May. A year later, the communication tool no longer existed.
Nexus One, the Google smartphone, is released. Not to mention, the Apps Marketplace launches. At this year’s Google I/O, Google TV was announced. The company teamed up with Intel, Logitech and Sony to release the new-age device.
Google’s social platform, Google+, debuts in June 2011 with invite-only access, but opened up to everyone nearly 90 days later. The tech giant acquires restaurant-rating service Zagat. That same year it acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, its most expensive acquisition to date.
There’s still a few months left in the year, and Google is bound to finish the year strong with platform updates, functional redesigns and engaging google doodles. Thus far, the company has unveiled the Nexus 7 tablet, Google Maps service alerts for MTA commuters and Google for Entrepreneurs, an initiative of programs and resources supporting entrepreneurs and startups.